Metcalfe Plant Hire

History of Metcalfe Plant Hire

In 1971, after a few years of being employed by a local contractor, Tony Metcalfe commenced working for himself and started the business from a caravan at Ousby near Penrith, with his first JCB undertaking small works in the Penrith area for various customers. After a few years of success and with the work load increasing and his renowned customer focus reputation, he started employing other drivers and labourers to assist him. This led to purchasing more construction plant, machines and equipment to establish the eminence and status of the Company.

Metcalfe Plant Hire Old Photo of digger

Throughout the 1980’s more and more opportunities appeared within the construction plant hire industry, including contracting works to support the plant hire operations, this enabled the company to grow and develop and be strong enough to continue to mature towards the business it is now, and Tony continues to work in the business today.

In 1996 the size of the business was starting to outgrow the Ousby depot, and led to Tony purchasing and moving to new premises at Gilwilly Industrial Estate, Penrith, where the business remains and operates today.

Metcalfe Plant Hire Old Photo of digger 2

In 1998 the company name was changed from Metcalfe Plant & Tool Hire Ltd to Metcalfe Plant Hire Ltd with the new name more accurately reflecting the core activities of the business.

In 2001 the Mardale Road premises were purchased, this allowing the commencement of the Construction waste recycling and secondary aggregates supply part of the business.


Metcalfe Plant Hire Old Photo of digger 5

In 2007 the Manchester-based Buy & Build Acquisitions and Investment Company Corpacq invested in Metcalfe Plant Hire Limited and took over overall ownership of the business.

In 2008 MPH commenced operating a CPCS Accredited Construction Industry and Driver assessment Training Centre at West View to the North of Penrith.

In 2015 MPH were instrumental in the Recovery and Repair works to the Cumbria Network after Storm Desmond and the Cumbria Floods, receiving compliments and commendations from Central Government, Local Councils, Local Businesses and Individuals for our commitment and efforts, and also captured by the BBC1 National News, see

Metcalfe Plant Hire Contracting Division New Tipper at Brougham

In 2016 the Company has grown to become one of the leading Construction Plant Hire and Construction business in the North of England, employing over 110 people and a turnover exceeding £13m, working in partnership with some of the UK’s Blue Chip Companies, Central Governments and Local Councils with the founder Tony Metcalfe still the figure head leading and developing the business.